Russia expels five Polish diplomats

Five Polish Embassy staff have been recognised as persona non grata by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and are to leave Russia by May 15, the Russian ministry said Friday.

"Our ambassador was at the Russian Foreign Ministry today, he received the note we expected as it was earlier envisaged by the Russian Foreign Ministry on its website," Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek said.

"We take note of it, acknowledge it and reserve the right to an adequate response," the minister added.

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Polish Ambassador to Moscow Krzysztof Krajewski and presented him with a protest note, due to the fact that on April 15 Poland had recognised three diplomats of the Russian Embassy in Warsaw as persona non grata.

Following the expulsion of the three Russian diplomats, the Polish Foreign Ministry wrote that they had violated "the conditions of diplomatic status and conducted activities to the detriment of the Republic of Poland."

The Russian Ministry described the Polish decision as "unjustified" and taken "under the absurd pretext of expressing solidarity with the United States."

The Russian side also called Poland's actions "provocative" and stated that "Warsaw is consciously pursuing a course of further degradation and destruction of bilateral relations."

The ministry said that steps taken by Poland "in the last few years had effectively frozen contacts with Russia." Poland was accused of "attempts to torpedo Russian energy projects" and waging a "large-scale anti-Russian information campaign."